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Andy Souwer & Albert Kraus Set For Fighterzone Kickboxing World Series MAX, Feb 25 in Singapore

There were rumors of a big kickboxing event in Singapore at the end of last year, but the show was postponed to figure things out, as Andy Souwer and Giorgio Petrosyan were featured on the event but didn't even know about it. Now though, the event has acquired Andy Souwer and Albert Kraus among others, two huge names in the world of kickboxing. Antuan Siangboxing (Antoine Pinto) said he was fighting for K-1 at the end of February, and it looks like this was what he was talking about. It might not be K-1, but it has some big names on the card and with Singapore booming, hopefully some money is being put into the sport over there,  like OneFC in MMA.

Andy Souwer takes on Naruepol Fairtex, a stablemate of Yodsanklai who is a veteran of the sport, having fought names such as Giorgio Petrosyan, Yodsanklai and Yohan Lidon. Naruepol is obviously much better suited to fighting in Muay Thai and the favorite is definitely Souwer. He's past his prime days but he can still hang with a lot of fighters and it should be a decent test for Souwer. Naruepol is coming off two straight wins over Marco Pique and Jonay Risco, while Souwer last beat Toby Imada in a rematch at Shoot the Shooto 2011 in shootboxing.

Albert Kraus will take on Ekapop Sor Klinmee and again, Ekapop is probably better suited to Thai rules. Ekapop will be fighting at Yokkao Extreme against Diego Santuccio. Ekapop is pretty old and he just got beaten badly in Cambodia at the end of 2011 so Kraus if of course the favorite. Kraus is coming off a mediocre 2011 year where he went 2-3.

Rounding out the card are three members of the Siangboxing gym and Andy Souwer's teammate, Henri van Opstal and you can see who they're fighting on the full fight card below. 

- Andy Souwer(Holand) vs Naruepol Fairtex(Thailand)
- Antuan Siangboxing(France) vs Bow Suweilek(Malaysia)
- Albert Kraus(Holand) vs Ekapop Sor Klinmee(Thaiand)
- Henri Van Opstal(Holand) vs Kim Dong Su(Korea)
- Leo Siangboxing(France) vs Lee Jin Hwan(Korea)
- Mathias Siangboxing(Italy) vs Tum Sityodtong(Thailand)

Jerome Le Banner Main Eventing KSW 18 in February

Jerome Le Banner is a man after our own hearts; he fights and he fights as much as he can. The 39 year old warrior has begun what he calls the "Le Banner World Tour" which consists of exactly what it sounds like -- JLB traveling the world and fighting opponents. The next stop for JLB in 2012 seems to be stepping back into the MMA ring after not competing in MMA since late 2010. JLB has been focused on professional wrestling over the past year but has remained competing in Kickboxing.

According to our friend Wojslaw Rysiewski of the main event of KSW 18 in Poland on February 25 against Marcin Rozalski. Rozalski is 2-0 in his MMA career while JLB is 3-2.


Robin van Roosmalen, Hicham El Gaoui Return + Chahbari vs. Grigorian on Feb. 26

Some of the top names in Dutch kickboxing will be stepping into the ring on February 26 in Den Bosch. Recent breakout fighter Robin van Roosmalen, Faldir Chahbari, Harut Grigorian and Hicham El Gaoui are among some of the names on the card.

Robin van Roosmalen will be taking on the gritty vetran from Mike's Gym, Rachid Belaini. Belaini didn't have a great 2011, losing four of his five fights and he's getting up there in age (36). Robin has emerged as a top fighter at 70kg after his win at the It's Showtime Fast & Furious 70MAX tournament and will look to continue on a roll, just about a month after he fights Murat Direkci for It's Showtime on January 28.

Another great match-up on the card is between Faldir Chahbari and Harut Grigorian. Grigorian is probably most known by the trouble he gave Andy Souwer early on in their fight, before losing in an extra round. Chahbari only fought three times last year, winning all three, but not over the best competition. Chahbari may be getting a bit old and he may be past his prime, but he's still a very difficult fight for anyone.

Other match-ups include our #3 ranked fighter at Light Heavyweight, Hicham el Gaoui taking on Masoud Rahimi. Solid 85kg fighter Hakan Aksoy faces Said el Bouanani and the man who beat Rico Verhoeven in early 2011, Jamal Ben Saddik, returns to face Clyde van Dams. And Bob Sapp is also on the card...Full fight card after the break:


More on the Giorgio Petrosyan/It's Showtime Situation

The big news came out the other day that Giorgio Petrosyan had terminated his management contract which kept him linked to It's Showtime and would now simply be working with his original manager, Carlo Di Blasi. LiverKick has spoken with both Di Blasi and officials at It's Showtime about the matter in an attempt to clarify exactly what is going on with Petrosyan and this management situation.

I feel like there is a need for some backstory to get a clearer picture if you are not well-versed in the current atmosphere in Kickboxing. As we all know, K-1 had an extremely rough 2011 while It's Showtime had an active year that involved running many successful shows as well as a successful 70kg tournament. A Korean investor, known simply as "Mr. Kim" came into the equation later on in the year, looking to purchase K-1 and strike up a working relationship with Rutz's It's Showtime organization. This is why when the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 was being organized, most of the fighters were under contract to It's Showtime or affiliated companies. The official word that we got from Simon Rutz on this matter is that It's Showtime is not looking to buy a part of K-1, but are more than willing to help anyone who does invest in K-1, as the Kickboxing market is a difficult one right now.


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